Luster Mica Powders Technique #1 – Mixing with Gel Mediums

Now that I have officially released the Luster Mica Powders to everyone, I want to start releasing Technique videos and Technique blog posts. I think seeing what you can do with these powders in action will really show you exactly how diverse they are.

This first technique is about mixing the Luster Mica Powders with various gel mediums. Now, since the Luster Mica Powders already have a built in binder, we aren’t relying on the gel to work as a binder, but rather using the gel so we can get a different look and perform different techniques that we can’t achieve with using water and mica powders alone.

Heavy Gloss Gels and Gloss Gels will add dimension to your work. This extra body will allow you to use your mica powders with stencils and texture tools. You can also brush a thin layer of your mica infused gel over a project or portion of a project to seal it in or to layer on top of. You can create multiple layers this way and protect the layer underneath from any additional colors that you would like to add with mica powder mixed with water, thus creating a resist effect. One drawback is that the shimmer doesn’t catch the light the same way it does as when the mica powders are activated with water. It gives it a completely different shimmer that is beautiful in its own way.

We’ll be trying out 4 different mediums today with the Luster Mica Powders: Liquitex Professional Super Heavy Gloss Gel, Liquitex Professional Gloss Gel, Claudine Hellmuth Studios Multi Medium Gloss, and Prima Marketing Art Basics Light Paste (this is an opaque matte medium, but I threw it in to show you the difference). For all different gels I first mixed the powder in using a palette knife on a silicone mixing surface before applying to my surface.

1. Liquitex Professional Super Heavy Gloss Gel with Luster Mica Powder in Hawaiian Orchid:

20150226_095837 20150226_095847 20150226_095951

The Super Heavy Gel was a pleasure to work with. It mixed up easily and it works wonderfully with stencils. The stencil I used in this picture is called Stripes and it’s by Tim Holtz. They are made to be broken up like it’s shown here and I was easily able to apply the gel through the stencil with a palette knife. You can see how different some of the Luster Mica Powders look depending on the light angle and the color they are applied too. Hawaiian Orchid is a color shifting powder. It switches between violet to a more pink/ fuchsia color on black. On white, it stays prevalently pink with a touch of purple shimmer coming through. On the upper right hand corner of the first and second picture you can see where we dragged one of the Texture Tools through the gel. It worked great!

2. Liquitex Professional Gloss Gel with Luster Mica Powder in Gramma Nutt:

20150226_100017 20150226_100037 20150226_100100

Gloss Gel preformed just as well as the Super Heavy Gloss Gel just with a little less heft to it. The gloss gel feels a little more creamy while the super heavy is almost more like a paste. They both dry completely clear and worked great. The smudge you see on the white background is from me partially cleaning the stencil and accidentally getting gel on the opposite side, so it’s by no fault of the gloss gel. The picture shows the gel laid down via palette knife, one of our texture tools, and then used with the Tim Holtz Harlequin Stencil. As you can see from the pictures, Gramma Nutt color shifts as well. This color shifts from blue to a orange/gold. The shift is also more prevalent on the black cardstock whereas the white stays mostly blue with a little of the orange shimmer coming through.

3. Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi Medium Gloss with Luster Mica Powder in 24 Karat Gold:

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Claudine Hellmuth Multi Medium Gloss performed better than I expected. Being that this gel is less viscous than the other gels, I figured it wouldn’t perform well with the stencil at all. I could easily get it to drip from my palette knife. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it worked perfectly fine with the Tim Holtz Doily Stencil! 24 Karat Gold Luster Mica Powder looks pretty much the same on a light or dark, but still appears a little more brilliant on the black.

4. Prima Marketing Art Basics Light Paste with Luster Mica Powder in Blue Ice:

20150226_100351 20150226_100409 blueice

Prima’s Light Paste is definitely not the first thing I would think about mixing with Luster Mica Powder. It is an opaque matte paste which is the opposite of what helps shimmer shine. However, I am glad I tried because I did discover something interesting which can have its time and place to be used. If you apply it thinly, you can see the color and a little bit of the shimmer. If it’s thick, then it is opaque and you really just get the color of the mica powder as it would have looked on a white background and no real apparent shimmer. BUT if you look closer to the bottom picture, you will see that it has some shimmer coming out through the matte paste. It reminds me of when the sun hits a rock just the perfect way in the desert. It has a beauty of its own and could be used for certain projects. Blue Ice is a color that is much more apparent on a black surface. When it is applied over white it really looks more like a super pale blue.

Here’s the video showing me performing these techniques:

That’s it for the first technique! I hope you learned something today! Thanks for stopping by!

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